Another under used cut of meat is the hanger steak, also known as butcher's steak, which is very lean and tender. It becomes a good wintry starter when paired with celeriac.
Beef back ribs are incredibly succulent and flavoursome. To serve, just cut down between the ribs.
Skirt steak is a cut of steak taken from the side of the animal between sirloin and flank. It tends to be under used outside of France (where it’s known as bavette d’aloyau), which is a shame because it’s one of the most delicious beef cuts. Shallots and roasted bone marrow complement the meat, producing a modern tapas classic.
A classic burger, stripped back to its basics and unadulterated by extra flavourings.
A rich red wine reduction dresses and glosses beef tenderloin while the blue cheese slowly oozes as it melts against the meat. Rioja is a quintessentially Spanish wine and a perfect partner for beef tenderloin.
Rich and succulent, this classic French casserole takes on the flavour of the red wine you choose, so make it a good one!
Minced beef is often high in fat, so look out for extra-lean ground steak.
Served with an angel’s mustard slather, this is melt-in-the-mouth tender and tasty.
The great thing about oxtail is that it makes a perfect tapas portion when serving only one or two bones. Served with a delicate parsnip puree, this can be served as a main meal.
If you’d like, you can cook the potatoes the night before, then cook this one-pan meal in the morning. It’s filling and satisfying. Serve it by itself or as a side dish for eggs.
The chicken breasts can be stuffed in advance and you might want to ask an adult to help you stuff the cheese under the skin. Serve with potatoes and some green beans or salad.
Tender Cornish game hens are small enough that everyone can enjoy their own bird.
This classic Middle Eastern dish is known as 'djedjad' in Arabic. It is a wonderfully aromatic way to cook chicken, delicately scented, and very elegant.
Preserved lemon is traditionally called for in this dish, although you can use thinly sliced fresh lemon if you prefer or if preserved lemons prove hard to find.
This Mexican-style salsa adds a zesty and intriguing note to the simply grilled turkey.
Making sausages is much easier than most people think. Sausage skins can quite often be purchased from butchers who make their own sausages. Alternatively, just roll into a sausage shape, and cut into sections about 10cm (4in) in length. You could also form the sausage meat into patties and cook them like a burger, easy to put on a sausage sandwich. These can be frozen until needed; just defrost completely before cooking.
These peppered chops are an American favourite. Serve topped with the sweet butter.
Slow-cooked pork ribs smothered in barbecue sauce and so well cooked they virtually fall off the bones. Need I say more?
Pork and apple, a classic combination, is pepped up with a few herbs and some grainy mustard here. For a special occasion, you could substitute 2 tablespoons Calvados for some of the apple juice. This dish is delicious accompanied by steamed cabbage or green beans and a couple of simple boiled potatoes.
These richly flavoured meatballs make a tempting informal appetiser. If you're handing them out with drinks, serve them with cocktail sticks. If you're serving them at the table, serve chunks of bread for mopping up the luscious sauce.
Cabrito is a delicacy with many ardent admirers, but you must use a young suckling kid; or, if you prefer, use a meltingly tender leg of spring lamb.
Slowly braising pork in red wine adds depth and personality to this beautifully tender meat.
Slow-roasted pork belly with crisp crackling skin and meat that melts in your mouth has to be one of life’s little food gifts, but paired with fennel it is simply divine.
These spicy stuffed chillies are easy to prepare in advance, as you can chill or freeze them before cooking. Increase the quantities to suit; you can never have too many!
These mouth-watering chunks of pork are deliciously sticky, and make wonderful outdoor finger food.
This casserole can be made ahead and reheated on the hob. If you prefer your beans crisp-tender, add them in the last 10 minutes of cooking and return to oven uncovered.
Lamb cutlets are a ready-made finger food, with their own holders making them a really fun addition to your tapas menu. This recipe shows off lamb at its best. Get a rack of lamb that's either middle neck, which is cheaper with more flavour but only five bones or the best end of neck, which is more delicate and more expensive, with eight bones.
This classic dish is normally made using milk-fed baby lambs. Most butchered lambs are around a year of age and on a solid diet, making their meat darker and richer. Milk-fed lamb is therefore hard to find. This recipe calls for half a lamb shoulder, making it the perfect size to bring to the table and tear apart.
A hot slaw is perfect on a cool day when the thought of a cold salad doesn’t appeal. A flavoured oil is used to scent the lamb, but if you didn’t get any as a birthday gift this year, use olive oil and a little chopped rosemary instead.
It cannot be denied that kebabs of tender chunks of marinated and lightly charred lamb are always a pleasing prospect. Yet when served on top of emerald green broad beans with a zingy lemony dressing, this dish takes on elegance far beyond the common kebab.
To make these rillettes (which are similar to a pâté), the duck is slowly cooked in its own fat and then shredded, mixed with some of the duck fat and juices, and allowed to set in a terrine. Normally served with cornichons, these rillettes have a Spanish twist and are served with membrillo (quince paste) and hot toast.
The natural oil in duck breasts means they withstand perfectly the searing heat of a grill.
Melt-in-the-mouth venison steak is never better than when complemented with port.
If you have never prepared rabbit at home before, this uncomplicated recipe with impressive results is the perfect place to start. Ask your butcher to cut the rabbit for you.
Normally to make a ballotine — a boned and rolled joint — is considered a little bit tricky. So get your butcher to do the hard work of boning the meat, leaving you the easy task of stuffing and rolling. The result is fantastic juicy meat with aromatic stuffing.
Steaming a chicken over a half-filled beer can infuses it with a delicious flavour.
Sticky barbecued chicken wings are a perennial favourite and a great snack to offer before the main event. You can't make too many – they will disappear as fast as you can make them!
The rub used for cooking these beef ribs is mouthwateringly savoury – you’ll want to eat them all.
No one cooks beef as well as the Argentinians, and this method is particularly successful.
Aïoli, a rich and flavoursome garlic mayonnaise from Provence, is the perfect partner for steak.
Beef fillet is an excellent cut for barbecues because it remains meltingly tender when grilled.
Marinate rump steaks to tenderise them, then cook them quickly and serve rare or medium-rare.
Beef and horseradish are a classic combination; both work well with beetroot, so serve with a beetroot salad or a potato salad. The flavoured butter can be made in advance and kept in the fridge or can be made in bulk and kept in the freezer until needed.
Here’s an easy recipe for spatchcocked – split and grilled – chicken.
A simple but vibrant French-style recipe that brings out the wonderful taste of good lamb chops.
T-bone steaks have both fillet and sirloin together, making them especially tasty and tender.
This dish requires only a few minutes' preparation, before it fills your home with an incredible aroma. It’s perfect rainy-day food.
This classic pasta sauce is usually used to dress tagliatelle rather than spaghetti. Keep the meat relatively chunky, so that the end result looks like a delicate stew.
This soup is full of the vibrant tastes associated with Mexican food. As in many traditional soups, bread — in the form of tortilla — is used to soak up the flavours and give extra body to the soup. Since the stock is exposed in this dish, choose the best available.
This is one of the most common ways of preparing pork at Chinese street stalls and in restaurants. Marinated in honey, rice wine and soy sauce, the pork can be grilled, fried or roasted.
This is Vietnam’s answer to China’s 'Peking Duck', which is served in three courses. The Vietnamese, on the other hand, generally serve it as one course with pickled vegetables, dipping sauces and steamed rice.
Pairing meat and rice in a one-pan meal is a great way to feed a big group. Top that with some aromatic spice and a handful of fresh herbs, and you’ve got a definite crowd pleaser. Chicken pulao can also be a main dish.
This hearty casserole will feed a crowd or can be divided into two portions – one to eat, one to freeze for a busy night.
Like most Thai curries, this recipe is prepared with coconut milk and one of the national curry pastes, which include red, green and yellow versions. Commercial Thai curry pastes are available in Asian shops and some supermarkets.
The batter for these pork balls is wonderfully light and tasty. They are accompanied by a delicious sweet and sour sauce. Steamed rice is good with this recipe.
If you thought breaded fried chicken was off your menu, think again.
These are a taste explosion in every bite. Make plenty, as they will disappear really fast.
Although the authentic Mayan recipe involved a wild pig known as a peccary, you can approximate the flavour with domestic pork shoulder. Wrapping the meat in a banana leaf keeps the juices in and adds a slightly herbaceous flavour. In place of banana leaves, you can use a paper bag – just put the meat in the bag and fold the open end closed.
Known as caldillo (little soup), this brothy stew makes great cold weather fare.
The longer and slower you braise these ribs, the more tender and flavourful they become. Serve with warm flour tortillas and guacamole or green mole.
There is always the temptation to buy bargain-basement burgers for reasons of both time and economy. However, if you want to impress, make your own – they are simplicity itself to prepare and the reward exceeds the effort. Do not buy very lean minced beef, as the fat is essential to bind the burger together and keep it whole.
This is like the deli sandwiches that get your taste buds tingling. It has plenty of meat and a lot of flavour. Using lean roast beef keeps this sandwich relatively low in fat, yet high in protein. Other meats – such as ham, salami and pastrami – are higher in fat and/or sodium. This sandwich is made with two slices of bread, but is equally good when made with a baguette, panini or any other substantial bread roll.
Lamb isn’t the leanest meat, so choose it wisely and cut off all the visible fat. Serve in the traditional way with steamed couscous.
The key to tender lamb 'souvlaki' is the marinade, so don’t skimp on the timing (even though it takes three days!). The longer the kebabs marinate, the better this 'souvlaki arnisio' will taste!
The delicate and perfumed flavour of quince is a great match for earthy duck. Cooking the fruit in this selection of spices gives a subtle, exciting twist to the sauce.
This quick sticky stew is a hearty, rustic and homely dish that is really satisfying when you want something light but comforting. The grating of the orange rind at the end gives an interesting twist to the flavour.
A warming rich beef stew, full of vegetables and hearty enough to satisfy on the coldest winter night.
Serrano ham or “mountain ham” is a typical dry-cured Spanish ham. This means it is generally served raw in thin slices, but when cooked it crisps up beautifully, creating a rich salty flavour that complements the chicken, zingy lemon and herbs.
Harissa is a piquant spice mix particularly popular in Moroccan cooking. Rose harissa is a similar spice blend with the addition of rose petals, which gives it an appealing aromatic depth. These flavours work beautifully as a rub on any meat but give a particular interest to the subtlety of chicken.
Cottage pie is the name given to a shepherd’s pie made with minced beef instead of lamb.
This method of slowly braising pheasant with lots of red wine works especially well with an older bird that would be too dry if roasted. Finished off with the cream and the truffle, this is a truly luxurious and sumptuous dish.
This is a traditional Tuscan recipe. The olives should be small and tasty to give the dish its authentic flavour. Traditionally this is served with triangles of golden fried polenta and braised peas.